Dora “Maria” Torres
D. Maria Torres was born, raised and educated in Puerto Rico. Dora Maria did her undergraduate studies in Social Work and graduate studies in Rehabilitation Counseling from the University of Puerto Rico. D. Maria worked as a Sociology and Psychology Professor in the Inter American University; while working there as a Guidance Counselor in the Psychological and Sociology Department. She moved to United Stated with the purpose “to learn English”. She worked in the Department of Social Services, now named Department of Children and Family, as an Ongoing, Adoption and Permanency Planning and Assessment Social Worker. While working in DSS she won the DSS Commissioner Award, Massachusetts Governor Award and the Holyoke Police Department Bravery award She changed her career by moving from the social services to the educational setting. Dora has been working as a School Adjustment Counselor/Social Worker in different school districts in Massachusetts. Currently, she continues working in the same area in one of the Western Mass. School Districts. She has a great interaction with her children and she goes on a weekly basis to the classrooms to teach socialization skills. She also provides individual and group counseling to children in need of services as well as refers children and families to outside therapeutic services.
Faith Wint is the Gifted and Talented teacher at Meadow Brook School in East Longmeadow, MA where she has worked since 2009. The G&T program at Meadow Brook is designed to be a “push in” program for all first and second grade students in the district, about 350 children in total. Using a multidisciplinary approach, lessons focus primarily on an in depth understanding of particular science and social studies based themes. Faith holds a M.A. in Applied Child Development from Tufts University, and an Ed.D in Curriculum and Teaching from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.
Felicia Mednick turned to teaching after working in residential settings with neglected and abused children. She received an MA in Early Childhood Development before beginning to teach in 3rd and 4th grade classrooms. She then got a Reading License. She is currently the reading specialist at Hilltown Cooperative Charter Public School, whose charter is to integrate experiential learning and the arts into education, as well as to develop children’s voices, and to develop community amongst families, school, and the local community. Felicia serves on the Diversity Committee at the school. Her outside interests include reading (of course!), gardening with friends, Jewish study, and climate justice activism. She has most recently discovered the world of Pilates, which enhances all of her physical activities.
Jasmine Robinson is a veteran educator (with a social justice bent) in Amherst, Massachusetts, and a doctoral candidate in the Language, Literacy, and Culture concentration at the College of Education, University of Massachusetts Amherst. Ms. Robinson's background is in drama in education. She draws on the drama process for inspiring children as they engage in multimodal literacy practices in the classroom. Ms. Robinson is an advocate for the use of multicultural texts in all subject areas. Ms. Robinson's published work, Critical Approaches to Multicultural Children's Literature - Challenging Pedagogies of Silence (New England Reading Association Journal, 48:2, 2013), illustrates her arguments that educators need to consider critical multicultural pedagogy for promoting social awareness; that children’s appreciation of diversity is dependent on opportunities to be critically and emotionally engaged with multicultural texts, making connections and disconnections whenever possible; and that interactive practices facilitate and promote critical understanding of multicultural themes.
Julie Durmis is the library teacher for Sandwich Public Schools on beautiful Cape Cod. In her current role, school librarian Forestdale Elementary School, she serves 600+ preK-2 grade students. In the years prior at the Oak Ridge Elementary School she supported grades K-8 and K-6. Julie completed her teaching practicum at the Saugus Public Schools and interned and worked in public and private schools, all grade levels, across Massachusetts and in southern New Hampshire. Julie earned her Bachelor of Science degree at Stonehill College in Health Care Administration. She coordinated cancer support services and resources for pediatric and adult cancer patients. And obtained her MA DESE license, Library All Levels K-12 in May 2012 with a Masters in Education Library Teacher from Cambridge College. She is a Certified Educator with Common Sense Media, dedicated to teaching digital literacy and citizenship to students, staff, and families and has been selected to be one of 40 Massachusetts Science Ambassadors. The Science Ambassadors play a key role in supporting the state’s transition to revised STEM standards over the next several years by helping educators, administrators, and the public to understand the revised standards and their implications for curriculum, instruction, and student learning.
Maria Garcia is a graduate of The Bank St. College of Education in New York City. For the past 15 years she has been a kindergarten teacher in Northampton, Ma. Although it has often been said, she loves her job! She incorporates yoga, dancing, cooking , art and play into her teaching. She is passionate about anti racist , anti sexist, multicultural education. A goal for her teaching is to give children experiences that will help them be able to recognize and describe their identity as well as celebrate the cultures of others. Most importantly she wants students to see themselves as successful learners and to love going to school. When she is not in the classroom she enjoys singing music from around the world with the Amandla Community Chorus.
Maria-Teresa “Terry” Scutro
Terry (Maria-Teresa) Scutro teaches art at Robert Gordon Elementary School and Roselle Park High in Roselle Park, NJ, where she is a resident. She also teaches enriched art at the elementary level, and has started a chapter of the National Art Honor Society at the High School. Students from the high school group are assisting Terry in the painting of a 17 foot mural at the elementary school about children’s books. She has integrated literacy, social studies, science and math into her art curriculum. After studying visual art at the duCret School of Art in Plainfield, NJ, while working there for many years, she attended Kean University. There she received degrees in Elementary Education and History and completed thirty studio art credits. She enjoyed working on sets, props and costumes for school/community musicals and plays, and for ten years Terry painted murals and completed decorative painting and stencil projects for homes and businesses. Terry served for over twelve years on the Roselle Park Board of Education, receiving the first Union County School Board Member of the Year award. She has written and illustrated two books for children, one to help teach children the process of writing and illustrating a picture book and the other, after winning a Union County Heart Grant, a picture book about the history of Cranford, NJ. She has three grown sons, two grandchildren, one rescued dog, and one parakeet found in her backyard.
For the last eighteen years, Norma Rosario-Trepper has been an educator with the Roselle Park School District in New Jersey. She teaches English as a Second Language to English Language Leaners (ELL) at Sherman School, grades kindergarten to 5.. Norma was the 2001 recipient of the Teacher of the Year Award and is bilingual in Spanish and English. She holds a Masters of Art in Teaching degree from Mary Grove College in Detroit. Her mission includes instilling a love of reading and learning a second language in her students as well as supporting their respect of people of culturally diverse backgrounds. Norma volunteers for Habitat for Humanity and enjoys yoga, salsa dancing, travel and reading.